In the heart of Spryfield, Nova Scotia, VIDA recently helped address an overlooked issue. Not all Canadians have access to a bicycle in proper working condition, or the tools and knowledge to maintain or repair one. VIDA partnered with the Nova Scotia's Ecology Action Centre (EAC) in support of a remarkable initiative around bike safety, mobility and accessibility.
Taking an interest in VIDA’s mission to revolutionize affordable communities, the EAC approached the company about utilizing one of their visible building locations on Herring Cove Road to station a Pop-up Bike Hub. VIDA quickly agreed to partner with the organization, offering residents, and the broader community, a safe space to bring their bikes to be fixed or tuned up, free of charge.
The two-day event (held October 20-21) was part of the EAC’s weeklong Bike Summit throughout Spryfield. The project’s overarching goal was to empower the community by providing knowledge, feedback, and much-needed services to address barriers in cycling participation.
“We were looking for a place and location that would be great to engage with community members directly,” says Simone Mutabazi, the Pop-Up Bike Hub Coordinator. “It became apparent that VIDA would be a great partner to host it. The concept of the Pop-Up Bike Hub is to go where people are. VIDA seemed like a natural fit for achieving that, with great accessibility for the community. We heard great things about VIDA, and that’s how we decided it was the right place to have the Hub’s trailer parked there.”
The goal of the Pop-Up Bike Hub was clear: address the lack of access to bike shops or mechanics, a significant barrier to cycling. Many people have bikes they want to ride but need more means to maintain or repair them. The Pop-Up Bike Hub was a solution that brought maintenance services directly to the community, enabling people to use cycling as a means of transportation, recreation, and freedom.
The mobile trailer arrived fully equipped with all the tools and expertise needed for bike repairs. In addition to offering the space, VIDA also made a $300 donation to help provide new bike helmets for anyone who showed up needing one. The gesture reflected a commitment to building community. It also served as a prime example of the company’s Safety pillar in action.
As residents flocked to get their bikes tuned and repaired, the 20 minutes it took to fix each bike also provided an organic opportunity for those within Spryfield, and VIDA, to socialize and share stories. As a result, one young VIDA resident even received a fixed-up bike to ride for the first time.
“I was so happy when I saw the bicycle repairs in action,” says Andrew Dart, VIDA’s head of HRM regional operations. One gentleman was smiling ear to ear and was excited to tell me that his bike was a classic. I spoke to the Ecology Action Centre team, and it was clear that they had a passion for this. They were keen to interact with our residents and provide not only repairs, helmets, and education, but gain feedback from residents about problematic biking areas that need to be reviewed in the area. Many of our resident's ride bicycles and it was a proud moment to see how we could partner with a local organization and support this service.”
This project was not limited to a single event; it was part of a broader movement to eliminate the barriers preventing people from riding their bikes. The Pop-Up Bike Hub and VIDA were on a mission to provide a collaborative solution within an active transportation issue that helps nearly 200 people get their bikes fixed annually across Nova Scotia.
The final result wasn't just about repairing bikes either; it was part of a larger mission to bring a sense of community and empower people through the simple joy of riding a bike. That’s the kind of joy VIDA is all about in revolutionizing affordable communities.
VIDA media contact: Joel Goodman, Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org